Wins haven’t come easy for the East Hampton boys lacrosse team this season, but the Bonackers got one last week, beating Deer Park (2-7 in Division II, 2-9 overall), 6-1, at home on April 24. East Hampton followed the win with a 15-3 loss in a night game at Hauppauge (6-3, 7-3) on Friday.
The split in those games last week put East Hampton’s record at 4-6 in Division II, 4-8 overall, with four games remaining on the schedule. Of those four remaining opponents, three—Bayport/Blue Point, Westhampton Beach and Elwood/John Glenn—have winning records and are in the playoff hunt; Babylon, like East Hampton, has struggled this season.
Barring a string of upset wins, the Bonackers won’t be in the playoff picture this season, but head coach Mike Vitulli is hoping this his young team can finish on a positive note. “If we could finish 2-2 in those last four games, that would be good,” he said.
His team’s performance in the win over Deer Park gave Vitulli reason to believe his squad could achieve that goal. East Hampton employed a zone defense, which it hasn’t used most of the season, and allowed just one goal to the Falcons. The teams played to a 1-1 tie in the first quarter before East Hampton rattled off four goals in the second quarter and never looked back.
Drew Harvey had two goals and an assist, while Brian Seekamp added a goal and an assist, as did Sawyer Bushman. Ryan Fitzgerald and Drew Griffiths each scored, while Cortland Heneveld had three assists. Goalie Mike Jara made seven saves for the win.
“We played a very good game,” Vitulli said. “We were disciplined and did what we wanted to do.”
Vitulli added that his squad did a much better job winning faceoffs than it typically does, which led to more possessions and chances on the offensive end of the field.
The Bonackers had a much tougher time with Hauppauge, a team ranked in the top five in Suffolk County, and one that features an All-American in midfielder Sam Linares, who is headed to Division I Hofstra University next year on a full scholarship, according to Vitulli. He said his team focused on shutting down Linares, and it was successful with that, allowing him just one goal, although he did have five assists. But seven other players scored for the Eagles, and their depth was simply too much for East Hampton.
Jamie Wolf and R.J. Notel scored East Hampton’s goals, while Fitzgerald had an assist, and Jara made 10 saves.
Vitulli said his team has been improving, but its lack of depth, along with its relative inexperience, have proven too much to overcome against higher-ranked teams.
“They’re definitely learning, so I can’t complain,” he said. “I feel like we’re getting better, even though the results aren’t always there.”
One problem plaguing the Bonackers all season has been a penchant to go through a lull during certain point in a game, where the opponent takes advantage and scores a bunch of goals in a hurry. “We tend to have a five-minute stretch where everyone at the same time gets down on each other,” Vitulli said. “Other teams will exploit us for five or six goals in that space, and the game changes. And then we don’t have enough depth or talent to overcome it.”ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 5/1, at Glenn, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 5/3, vs. Westhampton Beach, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 5/9, vs. Bayport, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 5/11, vs. Babylon, 4:30 p.m.